Niels Stensen

The Steno Museum is named after the Danish physician, scientist and bishop, Niels Stensen. According to the custom of the time among learned people, he used his Latin name, Nicolaus Stenonis or Steno.

Steno primarily studied anatomy. By dissecting animals he discovered, among other things, the duct from the parotid to the oral cavity, Ductus stenonis. He also studied the organisa-tion of the brain and described the structure and functioning of the muscles.

Steno's model of muscles

The logo of the museum is a stylised representation of Steno's geometrical model of a muscle.

Within geology, Steno was the first to indtroduce the theory that animals and plants can fossilize and that mountains can be elevated sea floor. Furthermore, he founded modern crystallo-graphy, i.e. the science of the origin and structure of crystals.

After having become a Catholic in 1667, Steno devoted his life to God. In 1675 he became a priest and spent his last years in Hannover. Later on he became bishop for North Germany and Scandinavia.

Steno died in Schwerin, only 48 years old. The following year he was interred in a chapel in the church of San Lorenzo in Florence. In 1988 he was beatified by Pope Johannes Paul 2. Beatification is the last step before canonization.

LINKS - more about Steno

NIELS HANSEN From the Catholic Encyclopedia, copyright © 1913 by the Encyclopedia Press

NIELS STEENSEN - anatom, geolog, biskop
- en kort biografi
(In Danish)

(The Niels Stensen Achive)

A comprehensive archive of literature by and about Steno.